Hoarding is a complicated situation that is often misunderstood, but it must be taken seriously.
People affected by hoarding have a difficult time parting with various items and objects, including those that do not seem to serve any useful purpose or hold sentimental value. As the person begins to accumulate more and more belongings, their household becomes cluttered with various contents, making it difficult and unsafe to live there.
The hoarded items can act as tripping hazards, blocking access to pathways, entrances, and exits. They can also be the site of hidden mold growth and be fire hazards, too. If enough items are stored in an area, then they may even make an entire room useless, as it cannot be used for its intended purpose.
Some people who are affected by hoarding are unaware of the problem, not realizing the severity until it has gotten out of hand. Other affected individuals are aware of their hoarding problem but cannot acknowledge the dangers it presents themselves.
No matter the situation, it is important that hoarders understand their disorder and get essential help. The home needs to be cleaned, and the contents need to be sorted appropriately. However, it is also crucial that people affected by hoarding get hoarding cleaning help only once they have agreed to it. Otherwise, they will not be receptive to hoarding assistance, making it ineffective.
If you have a loved one who is struggling with hoarding, then you might be unsure of how to approach them regarding it.
Continue reading to get a better understanding of hoarding and what you can do to get help for hoarders.
What is Hoarding?
Hoarding is a disorder in which a person has a difficult time parting with items due to a belief they need to be saved. The thought of discarding such belongings can cause the affected person to become distressed, so this causes them to keep contents no matter what their value is ― monetary or sentimental.
Hoarding differs from collecting because people who collect items find value in them. Furthermore, collectors take pride in and display the collected items. Meanwhile, individuals affected by hoarding are not necessarily proud of their hoarded contents nor do they display them.
How Do You Help a Person Affected by Hoarding?
Talk and Listen to Them
Start a conversation with your loved one about their hoarding problem, and listen to what they have to say. This can help you get an idea of how they feel, what their mindset is, and why they are behaving in such a manner.
However, do not offer solutions or interject with your own thoughts. You are there to be supportive, not to take control of their hoarding situation. They may take such actions personally and feel attacked. Give them time to open up, and instead ask questions to help further the discussion. The hope is a discussion will help lead to the root of the hoarding issue, which often is mental illness.
Emphasize the Dangers Hoarding Presents
Eventually, direct the conversation into one in which you emphasize the dangers their hoarding situation presents. Not all affected individuals will realize how bad the case has become, so getting an outsider’s perspective can help them come to terms with that. Using specific examples, such as how certain items can be tripping hazards, may make it easier for them to see how their hoarding can be harmful.
Let Them Know You Care
When you speak with your loved one about hoarding, emphasize that you care about them. The discussion is taking place because you want them to be safe and are concerned that they are living in a dangerous situation.
Encourage Them to Get Help
Help for hoarders is available, and you should encourage your loved one to seek help for their problem. If they are open to help from outside sources, let them know professional help for hoarders exists. This can include counseling with a licensed professional or professional hoarding cleaning services.
However, do not force help upon them. Help will only be effective if they agree to it. Instead, gradually introduce this idea into the conversation and get them help when they are ready for it.
Professional Hoarding Cleaning Services
People affected by hoarding are not always aware of their situation and the dangers that it presents to themselves. Because of this, it is important that a trusted loved one speaks with the affected individual concerning the hazardous nature of hoarding and the need to help, including that with hoarding cleaning. After your loved one agrees to hoarding help, reach out to ServiceMaster by Replacements at (732) 842-6917 for professional hoarding cleaning services.
Within our professional hoarding cleanup services, qualified technicians will work to gain the trust of the affected individual, knowing of the sensitive nature of the situation. This trust is crucial in moving forward with hoarding cleaning. From there, the client will be put in charge of what contents will be kept and which will be removed, giving them control of the hoarding cleaning process.
Once the accumulated items have been sorted, our cleaning technicians will restore the home to a clean and safe living environment.